When the ongoing Eyjafjallajokull eruption began this week, other volcanic monitoring stations in Iceland were put on alert and worrying results started coming in from Grimsvotn under Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull.
Pall Einarsson, earth sciences professor at the University of Iceland said that Grimsvotn started rumbling with a series of earthquakes.
Grimsvotn is now in a similar condition to how it was in 2004, when it last erupted. Last time the Grimsvotn eruption was started by a jöklahlaup, which is when the pressure of melted water under the glacier builds up to such an extent that it lifts the entire ice cap and rushes out in a highly destructive torrent. There is every indication this will happen again within 24 months, Einarsson told Visir.is.
He said that scientists have had great success in predicting activity at Grimsvotn and that they now predict an eruption at the site within two years – although it could easily come in the next weeks or months.
We must also not forget Hekla, he added. Since settlement, Hekla has erupted roughly every ten years. She erupted in 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000.